A few months back, I read and reviewed The Sisters by Claire Douglas. I loved the book and I loved Claire Douglas and her style of writing. When another of her books popped up on Netgalley, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy and get my hands on a copy I did. As it’s a psychological thriller (aka, my favourite genre of books) I had high hopes and high expectations for the novel and I’m pleased to report that this one satisfied and ticked all the right boxes.
The story flips between the present day and 1997, the year when Sophie Collier, local girl to Oldcliff-on-Sea, goes missing without a trace. We’re introduced to Frankie and follow her perspective and her version of events – Frankie was Sophie’s best friend at the time of her disappearance. She’s made it big as an hotelier and lives in London, away from the claustrophobic environment that Oldcliff-on-Sea presented to her when she was younger. She receives a phone call from Daniel, Sophie’s brother, informing her that new evidence in the form of human remains have washed up on the beach. He believes the remains to be Sophie’s and wants Frankie to come back to the village to help him work out what really happened to his sister.
The story was definitely one that I’d recommend to other people in a heartbeat. I loved the characterisation throughout and I honestly felt like I got to know all of the characters as I was reading. I felt sympathy towards Frankie (although I’m not sure I was supposed to) and it made me sad reading about her insecurities involving friendships and relationships. I enjoyed the flip in perspectives- the scenes involving Sophie and the months leading up to her death were particularly interesting and added an extra scope to the novel. I think without this little bit of extra storytelling there would have been something lacking in the story so this was definitely a wise move from Douglas. The two characters are definitely contrasting in personality and this is presented well in their respective chapters. As the novel progressed, there were a couple of characters who were (purposely, I assume!) presented as being sleazy and unlikeable, one in particular springs to mind, although I won’t discuss this any further for fear of ruining vital plot lines!
I’m going to say something incredibly shocking here: I didn’t guess the twist this time! The story was so well crafted and mysterious that there were no glaringly obvious clues out there and I found myself turning the pages desperate for answers right until the very end. I love how all the loose ends regarding the twist were tied up well and truly in the epilogue as I absolutely HATE when there are things left unanswered. I will definitely be passing this one on to people as a recommendation when it’s released on August 10th, as it’s exactly what I look for in and love about psychological thrillers!